I find it troubling that declaring Agoa’s achievements a “disappointment” has gained currency in so many policy circles. It leverages a pernicious line of thinking, one that belittles the significant achievements African countries have made over the last 10 years and perceives polices that support African economic growth as zero-sum. This thinking threatens to undermine what I believe is one of the United States’ most successful and cost-effective development assistance programs ever.
Archive for August, 2010
BYkids uses the power of film to raise awareness of critical human issues to promote global understanding and social engagement. BYkids gives video cameras and training to kids around the world to make short documentaries about their lives. Renowned American filmmakers teach these youth the fundamentals of filmmaking so they can tell their stories.
Originally posted on Huffington Post.
The United Nations’ recent pledge to combat sexual violence in conflict zones was put to the test once again this month, with the mass rape of at least 154 women in Eastern Congo. And once again the UN is failing that test.
Malmsey and Diale Rangaka are causing me to consider seriously topics like reincarnation, fate, and destiny. I find the couple so eerily similar to my own family, I am in awe that life has allowed me to make their acquaintance. Why am I so drawn to this family that grew up in a bush 10,000 miles away and many decades ago?
The Rwanda I experienced last week while on assignment for PBS NewsHour was two different countries at the same time. The first was the Rwanda the government wants you to see (and is reportedly paying a British public relations firm a lot of money to make sure you see!). I saw this Rwanda for the first six days of my trip, traveling to the countryside to film electricity being wired up to village homes; visiting health clinics where citizens have national health plans, priced at only $2 a year. It’s this Rwanda where, unlike in many other big African cities, you can safely walk the streets at night; where police are more likely to stop you for not wearing your seat belt than a bribe. One afternoon I walked right up to a series of government ministries, planted my tripod in the parking lot and leisurely filmed without so much as a glance from security. Try that in Kinshasa, Cairo or, for that matter, Washington D.C. It’s for these reasons that Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, is a favorite of aid donors and luminaries such as Bill Clinton, Rick Warren and Bill Gates. And given what ruins the country was in following its 1994 genocide, the progress is truly impressive
The excellent business and investment prospects of Africa are being recognized publicly, finally. I believe there are five compelling reasons why all investors should take a serious look at Africa:
AIDS activist Tamara Banda of Malawi and businessman Miguil Hasan-Farah of Djibouti were there. Journalist Aminata Kane-Kone, who champions women’s rights in the Ivory Coast, was there, as was Tumie Ramsden of Botswana, host of the radio show, “The Real Enchilada.”
Before coming to Camfed, I worked as a journalist covering women’s issues. My radar was constantly scanning for stories with dramatic contours. I wrote about women who set themselves on fire, women who were raped by enemy soldiers, women who were forced into domestic labor and prostitution.
I arrived in Malawi two weeks ago, an American graduate student excited about the opportunity to intern with Advancing Girls’ Education for Africa (AGE Africa) for the summer, and already have countless impressions to share: the striking landscapes, the big smile a simple greeting in Chichewa will elicit, the act of sharing a seat with a chicken on a minibus, the sweet way in which people watch out for each others’ children… my list goes on and on.